Cloud here, Cloud there, Cloud everywhere.
Have you heard of the term cloud around the net? iCloud perhaps? This article will help you enable to understand what cloud is.
The cloud that we are talking about here is not about a mass of gas found above the ground. This is about cloud in computer/internet terminology.
The term cloud is an abstraction of complex network. The figure below shows that a computer is connected to a complex network (represented as a cloud). Now, we don’t know the details of what’s inside this network. We just don’t care (abstracted) as long as it is connected to a network. This cloud could symbolize a huge corporate network, or the internet itself.
Cloudless sky of the past
To know more about cloud today, we need a comparison of what has been the structure before there was a cloud.
Consider this situation. A student creates a word document in his house. He save the document into his USB flash drive, went to school, plug the USB drive to the school’s computer and continue the work.
Another scenario. A business man is updating his income spreadsheet on his mobile device while eating on the restaurant. When he came back to his office, he synchronizes his phone to his computer and do more updates to his spreadsheet.
These are just one of the few examples of scenarios that doesn’t use cloud.
And so here comes the cloud. We will use the same scenario from the previous example. But this time, using the cloud. Here goes.
A student creates a word document in his house. On the school’s computer, he loads the previously saved document and continue the work. No USB whatsoever.
Another scenario. A business man is updating his income spreadsheet on his mobile device while eating on the restaurant. When he came back to his office, he continue his income spreadsheet, this time, on his computer. No synchronizing whatsoever.
So what happen here? From the previous “cloudless” example, you can see that as a certain work is discontinued, the same document is saved then synchronized or transported on a certain storage area and then continue the work on the same exact document.
With the cloud, the synchronizing or the transportation of the storage media is eliminated.
With cloud, you can update and do your work from anywhere. You can do stuffs in your mobile device, then later on continue to work on your PC. This is also helpful to business people across the globe updating only one document. This is because, as they say, the cloud is everywhere.
Now, in order to interact with the cloud, there should be a front-end. This front-end is similar to your desktop applications or anything which the user interacts. The user interacts with the front-end, then the front-end interacts with the cloud. The cloud then do their stuffs (again, we don’t care about how the cloud do this because this is an abstraction).
The cloud here is a metaphor for the internet. And the front-end here is your internet browser showing (for example ) an online Google Document or Google Spreadsheet or similar related online docs. (I am using Google Docs as an example, but there are many other related applications, so to say.)
The cloud is growing and becoming popular nowadays. It shows many benefits including cost saving. For example, instead of installing an expensive document software for every computer, one can take advantage of cloud instead.
So there you are. The technology trend is going to the cloud. Soar now!